Kelly Anthony: Learner-Centred Teaching

Kelly Anthony: Learner-Centred Teaching

Kelly Anthony

Kelly Anthony, School of Public Health and Health Systems and Teaching Fellow for Applied Health Sciences

Written by Kelly Stone, Special Projects (Teaching Stories), CTE. 

Teaching requires a great deal of time and consideration to ensure that it’s effective for students. Presenting content to students so that it infuses them with a passion for learning, instead of just focussing on transcripts or grades, is a teaching goal that Dr. Kelly Anthony strives toward. Having spent the past several years immersed and engaged in research on teaching, much of which has helped her fine-tune her own teaching practice, Anthony can rightly say, “I’m an instructor, but I’m also fairly knowledgeable about pedagogy. I have a clear understanding of why the way I, and others, teach tends to be effective.” As the current Teaching Fellow for the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Anthony is working to share her knowledge of effective teaching in the hopes that it will ultimately enhance the learners’ experience.


In her courses on social justice and the determinants of health, Anthony enacts a fundamental belief: telling isn’t teaching. As she points out, “Our students are a digital generation so they know how to find information. I don’t need to passively transmit information to them; that’s not teaching. So I take my responsibility seriously when I say I’m educating them.” Anthony’s teaching practice is learner-centred, meaning that her focus is not simply on the delivery of content but rather on meeting the learning needs of her students. When asked why she takes this learner-centred approach, Anthony says that she “loves the opportunity to help students develop their ability to think critically by giving them opportunities to practice – to take aim at the mark and miss a few times before they get good.”

As a Teaching Fellow, Anthony is determined to cultivate a community of practice across and beyond her home faculty, where instructors can share strategies about enhancing teaching. Accordingly, Anthony has developed a Teaching Champion Team, consisting of two members from each department in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. At their monthly meetings, members discuss teaching and broker ideas between the team and their departments, encouraging further communities of practice. Anthony hopes that the teams then "go back into their home departments to create momentum, inspiration, and support for committed and strong teaching.”

Anthony’s passion for teaching and community is appreciated by the students who have had the opportunity to take her courses. Peter Kocandrle, former HLTH 260 student, explains that, “Dr. Anthony, through the use of a social lens, was the professor who applied a distinctive approach which opened the door to an understanding of health yet to be discovered by me. Apart from her engaging teaching style, Dr. Anthony has always been more than willing to engage in thought-provoking conversation outside of classroom time.” This passion for being engaged with students undoubtedly arises from Anthony’s conviction that “the ideas that students are exposed to now will shape their lives, careers, and the way they think about the world.”

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More Resources

CTE has developed more than 100 Teaching Tips. Each one is a succinct document that conveys useful ideas and practical methods for effective teaching. Some of the Teaching Tips that are relevant to the strategies mentioned in this Teaching Story include the following: